Azerbaijan Arrests Six Radical Islamists over ‘Coup Plot’ Blamed on Iran
Azerbaijan on Thursday, April 6, arrested six men it said were linked to Iranian secret services and were plotting a coup in the Caspian nation, in the latest friction between Baku and Tehran.
Relations between the neighbors have long been strained, with Azerbaijan being a close ally of Iran’s historical rival Turkey and holding close ties with arch-foe Israel. The arrests came after months of diplomatic tensions.
Baku said the six Azerbaijani nationals were “recruited by Iranian secret services to destabilize the situation in the country.” It announced the arrests in a joint statement by the interior ministry, state security service, and prosecutor general’s office.
It said the group was plotting to “set up a ‘resistance squad’ aimed at establishing a Sharia state in Azerbaijan through armed unrest and violent overthrow of Azerbaijan’s constitutional order.”
It accused them of being “engaged in a pro-Iranian propaganda of religious radicalism, fulfilling orders from abroad to undermine Azerbaijan’s tradition of tolerance.”
According to Azerbaijan, they promoted “radical Islam” using money from drug profits. (TOI / VFI News)